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What is hyperopia (long-sightedness)?

Hyperopia (longsightedness or farsightedness) is the most common refractive error affecting about 20% of the adult population in the UK. A significant proportion of children are long sighted but of a level that the eye can naturally correct itself and refocus an image. In hyperopia the corneal lens at the front of the eyeball is not strong enough to focus light on the retina and ‘plus’ powered spectacle or contact lenses help the focussing system to maintain clear vision. Sometimes the lens inside the eye can be forced to accommodate and focus the viewing target clearly on the retina but this can be tiring to maintain and can cause headaches. Spectacles, contact lenses or eye surgery (such as Laser Eye Surgery) can assist in providing clear vision consistently. As we mature the internal lens becomes less elastic and we lose the ability to keep this lens focussed so although hyperopia may not require correction in our younger years it will eventually need to be helped with spectacles.

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